Frances Eleanor (Schultz) Siemens, 91, died peacefully on July 25, 2023, at Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton, Kan.
Frances was born on March 26, 1932, in Pawnee Rock, Kan., the elder child of Frank and Anna Laura (Unruh) Schultz. She graduated from Pawnee Rock High School and was a member of the Bergtal Mennonite church.
She graduated from Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., where she majored in music and earned a teaching certificate. A highlight of her time at Bethel was participating in Bethel’s first overseas choir tour where the choir sang in various European cities and attended the Mennonite World Conference. It was also in choir that she met her future husband, Richard Siemens.
Frances and Richard were married in 1954 and celebrated their 69th anniversary in June. The couple settled in Lyons, Kan., a community halfway between their parents’ homes. They raised two children, Charlotte Anne and Douglas Todd. In 2006, Frances and Richard retired to North Newton.
During the first years of their marriage, Frances taught first grade in San Antonio, Texas, and in the Kansas City area while Richard completed medical school. After she and Richard started their family, she dedicated her energy to parenting, managing the home, and participating in a range of community events.
Frances was happiest being outdoors with her family, especially at the family cabin in southern Colorado. She enjoyed growing flowers and touring gardens. An active birdwatcher, she took special interest in cardinals and hummingbirds. Fishing brought out her competitive side although she was less interested in baiting her hooks or cleaning her catch.
Despite the onset of severe rheumatoid arthritis in the 1970s, Frances remained positive even as she had to curtail many of her physical activities. She greeted everyone with a smile and loved to make people laugh. She will be remembered for her unstinting kindness and boundless generosity.
Frances is survived by her husband Richard Siemens; brother Donald Schultz, Overland Park, Kan.; children Charlotte Siemens (David Sprunger), North Newton, Kans., and Doug Siemens (Lu Ann Zook), Newton, Kan.; grandchildren Sam (Ellie) Sprunger, Jacob Sprunger (Alžběta Lutzká), Anna Sprunger, Angus Siemens, and Zoe Siemens; great-grandson Harvey Sprunger.
A Celebration of Life/Memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton, Kansas.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Bethel College.